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4 Reasons Not to Buy Stocks in 2013

Since then, international markets have cooled off.

The drama in Cyprus doesn't help things much. With wealthy EU depositors now fearful that the haircut forced on Cypriot depositors could become the new prototype for similar crises (and there will be similar crises in the EU), banks will have to contend with a jumpy base of savers. To read a blog like Zero Hedge, the situation in Cyprus could spark the beginning of the end for the EU in 2013. Then again, to read Zero Hedge, every news headline could spark the beginning of the end for something.

While many international markets have cooled off, it looks more like a correction in most cases rather than a change in trend. Bear in mind that many overseas stock markets have been rallying extremely hard for the last year without much of a correction or consolidation along the way. That's not sustainable -- but it also doesn't mean that overseas stocks are going to zero.

More important, a handful of the strongest names are still looking very bullish indeed: the Japanese Nikkei 225 and South Korea's KOSPI are just two examples.

4. We're Near a Historic Top for Stocks

Finally, there's one of the most guttural arguments not to buy stocks in 2013: We're near a market top.

While the Dow Jones Industrial Average pushed through to new highs this year, the S&P hasn't yet and the Nasdaq Composite is still far from its high water mark. So why should stocks continue to rally when they're approaching a level where they've failed before?

Make no mistake, of course stocks could top out here. But looking back at the broad market over the last few decades, stocks have been trending higher consistently. By definition, that means that stocks were bumping their heads against all-time highs more often than not, and then pushing through them. Naturally, price resistance is a concern at an all-time high for stocks, but the technicals behind recent price action have been extremely orderly. That makes the likelihood of new highs in the S&P much higher than if the index had been on the heels of some unsustainable rally.

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